I'm about a third of the way though Peter Heller's debut (fiction anyway) - The Dog Stars. It's a post-apocalyptic tale (though not really sci-fi) told through the eyes of Hig: a Cessna pilot (and an avid outdoorsman—fly-fishing mainly, but some hunting, too) who, with his dog Jasper as co-pilot, buzzes around a small portion of what would have been Colorado nine years previously (anything further back than nine years is referred to simply as "before") just trying to figure out how to *be* under the new rules/situation. It's been quite heart-rending so far. Beautifully written. Not utterly bleak, as some post-apoc tends to be, but more introspective with several moments (so far) that can be considered truly uplifting.
Some comparisons are bound to be made to Cormac McCarthy (especially The Road) if only because of Heller's sparse prose (which can be long on sentence fragments and shy on punctuation). But unlike McCarthy—who just writes like that all the time—Heller's prose in this book seems to be a side-effect of attempting to portray the running monologue going on in Hig's brain. A brain that may or may not have been just a tad overheated from a fever sustained while surviving the virus that brought civilization to its knees; "before".
I realize a McCarthy comparison can just as easily be considered a reproach as it could a "ringing endorsement," but I had to be honest. There is some similarity, here. I'm a fan of McCarthy myself, but I wanted to make sure that readers—who might not be McCarthy fans—don't simply write this book off because of the stylistic similarities. It's not McCarthy and it's not The Road.
I think the book would be especially appealing to outdoorsy—majesty of nature—types. As I said ... heart-rending and uplifting, so far. Some really cool "Yeah, I can dig that" passages. There's some language and character behavior that I'm sure some might consider "foul," but it's not rampant.
Last edited by DiapDealer; 09-25-2012 at 09:32 AM.